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 Won't eat own food (a bit long)

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MGoBlue
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PostSubject: Won't eat own food (a bit long)   Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:56 pm

So Bode has been on Nature's Domain pretty much since we got him, after a few trial and errors on food agreeing with his tummy. We've had him on the Turkey formula for the most part. A few weeks ago he started skipping meals, but I wasn't too concerned about it as the weather has started to get warmer and he wouldn't go without at least a meal a day. We had been offering a cup at breakfast and two at dinner.

Well, he started going a little longer between meals and I thought he might be getting a little bored, so we switched to the new beef formula. His eating picked up a little, but has really dropped off since. His poops and everything are normal, normal behavior for him.

He isn't not eating. He will take treats or other human food (but we've tried to limit it to get him to eat his own food). In addition, if we are at my parent's house and they forget to pick up their dog's food, Bode will go right for it and scarf it down, every time. They feed Purina Pro Plan Chicken and Rice (yuck).

Example: He ate one meal on Thursday. We left for vacation Friday around noon and he hadn't eaten his breakfast. Didn't eat a bite of his food all vacation until Sunday. Though we were with my parents and he went right for Riley's food. I gave him 3 cups of food when we got back Sunday night and he only ate that because I mixed some shredded cheese in. I don't like doing that, but I was concerned he hadn't eaten barely anything in 2.5 days.

He seems slightly skinny. He's always weighed right under 50lbs since about 6 months old. It's so hard to tell with all the fur, but he seems normal around his neck and ribs (not protruding, thin layer of fat), but his hips are so bony.

I don't want to keep changing his food any time he gets bored. And he does so well on this food poop and gas-wise, which was the problem when we tried others. Maybe it's time to try TOTW again, but I'd rather not. Anyone dealt with anything similar?

Edited to add: Sometimes if he won't eat, I'll put his food in the Kong Wobbler and he will eat it then.
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Bella_Jasper
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PostSubject: Re: Won't eat own food (a bit long)   Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:22 am

I dont have any ideas for you but I figured I'd chime in that Bella and Jasper have been doing this as well. They seem to want to eat later at night, their normal schedule is a cup anywhere between 7 and 8 am then a cup around 2 or 3 when I get home from work and a final cup around 8-9 depending on what we're doing but lately they dont eat breakfast or lunch and sometimes dinner but if i leave it in their crates they'll eat it during the night. I was trying to avoid leaving food but i think i'll just leave it down so at least their eating. We arent on natures domain but im hoping to maybe switch to it that food sometime during the summer. Jasper seems to lose interest in his food by the time we are done with a bag normally. If we switch he'll scarf it down at first then close to half way through he eats it cause he has too. I've thought about adding some green beans or something but I dont want them getting used to it and expecting it all the time.
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NewComer
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PostSubject: Re: Won't eat own food (a bit long)   Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:28 am

If anyone has suggestions about this, I'd like to hear them too.

Caper does the very same thing. He'll get bored with any food item within a matter of days and will refuse to eat his food all day while I am chasing him around the house with his food bowl. The only thing that seemed to semi-consistently work was alternating between two flavors of the same kibble brand and mixing in different boiled/baked unseasoned meats every few days (I had to laugh one night when the family was eating Mcdonald's for dinner while Caper was getting baked salmon in his TOTW kibble). His poops are a bit moister than ideal but they are well formed, logs with sections/cracks in them (I know, TMI).

My vet advised me to resist giving him any treats and after two days of not eating he will give up and eat his dog food. Sounds a bit unpleasant being forced to eat something you don't like every meal every day... sometimes I'm glad I'm not a dog when it comes to food. lol
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katiesham
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PostSubject: Re: Won't eat own food (a bit long)   Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:18 am

I'm one of those people that doesn't change a dog's food unless they start doing poorly on it or I want to change it.

He's not going to starve himself. If he's acting normal, not lethargic, and he's drinking normally, I wouldn't worry. Pippa hasn't eaten breakfast in two days, but she's acting like herself and drinking.

If they aren't pigging out on treats, and don't have access to another dog's food, they'll eventually eat their own.

That's my opinion at least. Mixing things in with his food and him finding other goods are only going to make him want to hold out longer on his "boring" food.
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MGoBlue
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PostSubject: Re: Won't eat own food (a bit long)   Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:51 am

@katiesham wrote:
I'm one of those people that doesn't change a dog's food unless they start doing poorly on it or I want to change it.

He's not going to starve himself. If he's acting normal, not lethargic, and he's drinking normally, I wouldn't worry. Pippa hasn't eaten breakfast in two days, but she's acting like herself and drinking.

If they aren't pigging out on treats, and don't have access to another dog's food, they'll eventually eat their own.

That's my opinion at least. Mixing things in with his food and him finding other goods are only going to make him want to hold out longer on his "boring" food.

I definitely agree. I am trying hard to avoid mixing anything because I don't want to get in that habit, but it had been so long I was getting worried. And Natures Domain is ideal for us price wise and health wise for Bo. He did eat breakfast this morning though! Yay!
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Huskyluv
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PostSubject: Re: Won't eat own food (a bit long)   Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:17 am

For a 1 year old, 3 cups a day seems like too much food. That could be contributing to his lack of interest if he's not really that hungry. My 50 lb adult male sibe only eats 1 and 1/4 cup of Nature's Domain turkey formula mixed with 1/4 cup Grandma Lucy's and a spoonful of canned food mixed in which amounts to little more than 1.5 cups of food per day. Combine too much food with boredom with the food with decreased appetite from the heat and your current situation sounds like exactly what I'd expect.

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ljelgin
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PostSubject: Re: Won't eat own food (a bit long)   Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:27 am

My female skips morning meals all the time.. I feed my pups a 1/2 cup in the morning with a couple carrots and a few craisins in the morning. They get about 1 to 3/4 cup in the early evening. Kerian ends up only eating about a cup a day it seems like..

Also neither of my pups want to eat before they have had their walks we walk in the morning before breakfest also in the early evening we walk before eating.

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UndarthAngipoo
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PostSubject: Re: Won't eat own food (a bit long)   Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:46 am

Yup - just to echo other people's advice...

1) Tough love - it's hard on everybody, but that's why they call it tough love. Try your best to keep the treats to an absolute minimum (read: none), because, as well all know, these dogs are smart - they will hold out on their food in hopes of something yummier. Stark went through this a couple of times, and he eventually gave in - didn't take all that long either...

2) Huskies metabolisms were meant to fluctuate drastically based on their activity level etc. If they're not doing enough activity, their metabolisms tend to naturally slow down - I remember reading somewhere that they usually don't need the daily amount of food recommended - only about 90% of it, so I'd definitely try cutting back on the amount that you give them.

3) If everything else is normal (playing, drinking, energy level), then there shouldn't be too much to worry about - if any of those things were askew, then it'd be a cause for concern, but as Katie said, healthy dogs won't starve themselves on purpose. Smile

4) Purina Pro Plan, in my opinion, is akin puppy crack. It's like comparing a complete meal to a meal made out of candy... Don't forget, a lot of companies will do whatever they can to tempt dogs to eat their products. But, as a responsible dog owner, once you do your research, it'll become pretty clear what the differences are between a lot of kibble. Not saying it's bad to feed kibble by any means, just that there's a spectrum of how healthy and good it is for your dog that differs from brand to brand.

The kong wobbler is a good tool to use - is there a particular reason you don't use it all the time? Not saying you should, just wondering... Smile
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MGoBlue
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PostSubject: Re: Won't eat own food (a bit long)   Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:47 am

@Huskyluv wrote:
For a 1 year old, 3 cups a day seems like too much food. That could be contributing to his lack of interest if he's not really that hungry. My 50 lb adult male sibe only eats 1 and 1/4 cup of Nature's Domain turkey formula mixed with 1/4 cup Grandma Lucy's and a spoonful of canned food mixed in which amounts to little more than 1.5 cups of food per day. Combine too much food with boredom with the food with decreased appetite from the heat and your current situation sounds like exactly what I'd expect.

Thanks Val. I suspected it may be a little too much for him, but wasn't sure. I know that huskies require less than the recommended feeding amount on the bag, I just have never been sure how much less. They recommend 3-4 cups a day for 40-60# over a year. Half the recommended amount just seems so little, especially when he's on the skinny side. But it makes sense if that is most of the problem.
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Won't eat own food (a bit long)   Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:50 am

Yeah, I wouldn't worry about him. You could take a stool test into the vet for him, I know sometimes worms can cause a decrease in appetite. But, he's probably fine. I would cut out anything from his diet except kibble. If you need treats for training, just use kibble. You could try and switch up his food if he gets extreme about it, but i'm pretty much like everyone else. You don't eat it? Too bad, you'll see it again during the next meal, dry without cheese or something mixed in. Unless he starts to get dangerously thin I'm sure you can wait him out. On another thread, I saw someone suggest a really high value treat after he clears his bowl, so they start to learn that if they eat all their food, they get a piece of cheese or something. Doggie dessert. Smile My first husky Tasha was like this, I gave her 3 cups a day, and her average was about 1-2. Honestly though, I haven't dealt with this problem with Dizzy. He LOVES his food. He is on TOTW salmon puppy food, he would eat until he puked if I let him.
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MGoBlue
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PostSubject: Re: Won't eat own food (a bit long)   Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:51 am

@UndarthAngipoo wrote:
Yup - just to echo other people's advice...

4) Purina Pro Plan, in my opinion, is akin puppy crack. It's like comparing a complete meal to a meal made out of candy... Don't forget, a lot of companies will do whatever they can to tempt dogs to eat their products. But, as a responsible dog owner, once you do your research, it'll become pretty clear what the differences are between a lot of kibble. Not saying it's bad to feed kibble by any means, just that there's a spectrum of how healthy and good it is for your dog that differs from brand to brand.

The kong wobbler is a good tool to use - is there a particular reason you don't use it all the time? Not saying you should, just wondering... Smile

I would never consider switching him to Pro Plan, just included that info to show that he was interested in eating something. lol. I know how important choosing a good kibble is, since raw is just not an option for us.

He's not always interested in the Wobbler, plus because of the way our house is, we kind of have to follow him around when he's using it if it's gets stuck under something. That's the only reason we don't use it all the time.
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UndarthAngipoo
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PostSubject: Re: Won't eat own food (a bit long)   Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:00 am

@MGoBlue wrote:

I would never consider switching him to Pro Plan, just included that info to show that he was interested in eating something. lol. I know how important choosing a good kibble is, since raw is just not an option for us.

Oh, no, don't worry - I give you way more credit that than! I was just saying that's probably why he'll go and scarf down the other dog's food and not touch his own. I must not have been clear enough about that bit in my post - sorry! (Not a morning person...) Smile
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mbarnard0429
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PostSubject: Re: Won't eat own food (a bit long)   Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:28 pm

You could always give freeze dried a shot - I have yet to find a dog who doesn't love it.

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MGoBlue
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PostSubject: Re: Won't eat own food (a bit long)   Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:37 pm

Isn't freeze dried significantly more expensive?
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mbarnard0429
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PostSubject: Re: Won't eat own food (a bit long)   Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:53 pm

Per pound, nope.

I fed Grandma Lucy's before feeding raw and it was cheaper per pound than kibble.
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PostSubject: Re: Won't eat own food (a bit long)   Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:05 pm

Worst case scenario you feed a combo of Freeze dried and kibble together - it won't hurt and Freeze dried is much better for them. If you like both THK and GL companies on facebook, you will have coupon possibilities!
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